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A Collection of Random Thoughts
Thursday, July 13, 2006
Verizon, what have you done with the Q?

I now understand what the comments were talking about in my earlier blog about being continually prompted for the password when attempting to get Exchange ActiveSync up and working.

I tried to get a Motorola Q working via Exchange ActiveSync today, and could not get it working. I tried everything I had done with my device, including adding the registry key (remember, we use a wildcard cert), and attempting to install our cert. Verizon has apparently locked down being able to just add certs the normal way with Windows Mobile 5 (BOOOOOO!!!), and requires you to use the old spaddcert.exe tool, which apparently won't let you add just any cert. When I tried adding ours, it kept telling me that it wasn't a valid root certificate.

Anyways, modifying the registry key (HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\ActiveSync\Partners\Partnership for Exchange server) and adding the key of secure=0 got rid of the invalid certificate prompt, so perhaps the certificate issue has been resolved. Even so, I'm not quite sure how to get past the password prompt.

In summary, I've got a few issues with what Verizon has done to the Q.

  1. Why on earth does the Q not ship with MSFP/AKU 2.0? That is INSANE! We're talking about an update that was released to manufacturers in November of LAST YEAR, for goodness sakes. Verizon needs to get off it's rear end and get an MSFP/AKU 2.0 update pushed out.
  2. What is really the rationale behind locking down devices, such as preventing the installation of certain certificates? I can completely understand a carrier wanting to lock down a device so that it will only work with their network, but I don't understand this nonsense of locking down other portions of the device so that it makes life harder for IT folks.

I will, however, give kudos to Motorola. The form factor on the Q is pretty nice, and even with the extended battery installed, it still seems smaller than any Blackberry I've seen. The screen (even though it is only 320x240) appears bright and sharp. The screen, however, isn't a touchscreen, so don't expect to use it as such (no stylus included).

Are you experiencing similar issues with your Q, or another Windows Mobile 5 device? Have you gotten the dreaded continual password prompt? If so, what did you do to get around it?

I haven't had this problem, Ben. You don't want to use spaddcert.exe, you want to use the Verizon one for the Q. That's vzw_spaddcert.exe, available at: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=5D7E27EE-4654-480C-876D-442AED8F47AE

Create a directory on the Q called /Storage and copy the cert there, since that's where the Verizon one will look. Then run the addcert utility, and you should be good to go.
Sorry - I should have specified. I did use the spaddcert.exe specifically signed by Verizon. It still doesn't let me add any cert I want, though. Oh well. It's not my Q, and the owner doesn't care as much about e-mail, so I'm not pursuing this as vigorously as I normally would.
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